Since my last update, things have been rather hectic, but the Colorado page is about to get back on track. Thanks for the patience!
First off all, I would like to point out that Dan Hinote is just what this team has needed. A while back, I pointed out that the Avs needed an aggressive agitator of sorts to go all the way this year; a Tyson Nash-type of player. But, instead of that, the Avs have something a little more respectable and just as productive in Dan Hinote. Hinote’s play on the third and fourth lines have been downright inspirational at best. While such acclaim will not win him any awards in the league, Hinote’s play has earned him the respect and confidence of his teammates, especially Shjon Podein, who is having a career year. In my opinion, the Avs third line hasn’t looked as good as the old Keane, Ricci, and Yelle line of ’96, but it is getting there, thanks to the play of Hinote.
Another more recent surprise has been the play of Hershey call up Rick Berry. Called up as a temporary replacement for the injured Adam Foote, Berry’s play has been solid. In fact, his play has forced Nolan Pratt back to the bench at times. Berry’s game is simple, and his movement hasn’t looked too shaky. Look for Berry to make the most of his callup time, and look for Pratt to be on the way out of Denver around the deadline.
Marek Posmyk was recalled from Detroit today, to fill the roster spot vacated by Maxim Galonov who cleared waivers and was reassigned to Detroit.
In 30 games with the Vipers this season, Posmyk has posted 15 points and is a plus-5 on a poor Viper team.
He appeared in 18 games with the Lightning last season after his trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs in February. He made a huge impression in his first games. Head Coach Steve Ludzik told the St. Petersburg Times, after watching Posmyk play, how great he was playing and that “He’s pushing a lot of guys for jobs.” Such praises were a rarity from the rookie coach. As the season closed Posmyk’s play slacked and he finished the season with a goal and 2 assists.
After a sub-par training camp, Posmyk was returned to Detroit in favor of prospect Cory Sarich. Given Tampa Bay’s extensive depth at the position, defensive jobs in Tampa Bay are hard to come by. This could be Posmyk’s chance to showcase his skills and move himself up a few notches on the depth chart.
Kyle Freadrich was also returned to the IHL. A frequent healthy scratch, Freadrich had one assist and 36 penalty minutes in 13 games with the Bolts.
This article will feature Yannick Lehoux who plays for the Baie Commeau Drakkars of the QMJHL. Yannick was a third round draft pick (86th overall in last year’s draft) of the Los Angeles Kings and is turning into quite a steal. Let me tell you this kid is awesome, last year he had 92 points in 67 games (31 goals and 61 assists), but this year he has really turned it up a notch. In 48 games played he has 43 goals and 43 assists for 86 points and his team is in 1st place in it’s division and 4th overall in the league. I watched him play against the Quebec Remparts and he was everywhere on the ice. His best assets are his playmaking skills and his vision on the ice, although he isn’t a bad scorer either as his goal totals would suggest. I heard Yannick saying in an interview that his work ethic and better defensive play were due to the fact that he had learned so much from the likes of Rob Blake and Zigmund Palffy during his first NHL training camp. He’s now a better leader and a more complete player. The only knock on this kid is his size, he needs to get much stronger and add at least twenty pounds if he hopes on becoming a star in the NHL. He’s listed at 6 feet and 184 lbs. which is big enough for juniors but not quite enough for the pros. At 18 years of age though he is definitely on the right track. Give the kings scouting staff credit for drafting him, hopefully they will handle him properly, unlike Pavel Rosa.